Houthis extort private healthcare in Yemen: Information Minister

The militants have equipped the hospitals where their leaders and personnel stay with the highest technologies. (File/AFP)
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Updated 10 June 2020

Houthis extort private healthcare in Yemen: Information Minister

  • Houthis have added taxes on private healthcare sector
  • Yemeni citizens who have the coronavirus virus are staying at home out of fear they will be killed in hospital by “lethal injections” administered by Houthis

DUBAI: Yemen’s Information Minister Muammar Al-Iryani said Houthi militia are looting and extorting the private healthcare sector, state news agency Saba News reported.
The complaints from medical staff living in areas under Houthi control reveal additional taxes on owners of hospitals, private clinics and medical workers in the private sector, Al-Iryani said.
“Houthi militia, after destroying public health sector… went to impose additional taxes on private hospitals and clinics, drug manufacturers and stores on basis of military effort,” he added.
The militants have left the public without a defense against diseases but equipped the hospitals where their leaders and personnel stay with the highest technologies, Al-Iryani said.
Last week, the Iran-backed Houthis were accused of covering up the extent of the outbreak of COVID-19 in the territory under its control and of hampering with aid operations.
Yemeni citizens who have the coronavirus virus, or are suspected of having it, are staying at home out of fear they will be killed in hospital by “lethal injections” administered by Houthis, Al-Iryani said.


Debate rages over Turkey’s surging pandemic numbers

Pedestrians, wearing face masks, walk in a street of Ankara on November 20, 2020. (AFP)
Updated 24 November 2020

Debate rages over Turkey’s surging pandemic numbers

  • 20% of Israeli travelers to Turkey in October tested positive for coronavirus on their return
  • No PCR test is required now in Turkish airports for the passengers entering the country. It is a very big mistake

ANKARA: Unofficial sources have warned that numbers of COVID-19 cases in Turkey are skyrocketing.

The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) estimated that daily COVID-19 cases have risen to more than 47,500, of which about 12,500 are in Istanbul. This would represent a 300 percent increase in November compared to the month before.

According to official data, however, Turkey recorded 5,103 new COVID-19 patients on Nov. 20 — the second highest new daily figure since March — and its highest daily death toll with 141 fatalities.

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu announced that 186 people died from “infectious diseases” in the city on Nov. 22 — more than the official countrywide death toll. (The Turkish health ministry is accused of classifying some COVID-related deaths as "infection-related deaths")

The TTB, whose data drew on figures from 1,270 medics in 76 provinces, claimed that someone in Turkey dies from COVID-19 every 10 minutes. It declared that “they have lost control of the pandemic.”

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca previously admitted that they do not include everyone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the number of daily cases — they only count those who show symptoms. Following this admission Turkey was put on the UK’s quarantine-on-arrival list in early October.

BACKGROUND

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca previously admitted that they do not include everyone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the number of daily cases — they only count those who show symptoms.

Reports drawing on Israeli health ministry data say that 20 percent of Israeli travelers to Turkey in October tested positive for coronavirus on their return home, which experts consider a worryingly high figure.

Everyone arriving in Israel is obliged to self-isolate for 14 days. There is no such an obligation in Turkey.

“The countries which prove successful in managing the pandemic are those that apply strict quarantine rules and rigorously regulate arrivals in the country. But this is not the case in Turkey nowadays,” said Guner Sonmez, a radiologist from Uskudar University in Istanbul.

“Only one case can again trigger a whole chain of contagion and begin a new wave of pandemic. However, no PCR test is required now in Turkish airports for the passengers who enter the country. It is a very big mistake for managing the dynamics of the pandemic.”

Turkey recently re-introduced a partial evening curfew and restrictions on the weekends, although scientists have been urging a full 14-day lockdown.